Exhibition / Past / 2009


28 November 2009 to 7 March 2010, Department of Prints and Drawings

Peter Roehr

The exhibition will be organized by the Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, in cooperation with the MMK – Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main.

When the Frankfurt artist Peter Roehr died in 1968 at the young age of 23, he left behind several hundreds of works in which he pursued exclusively the idea of serial repetition. From found commonplace materials he created ever new montages of photographs, text, typography, objects, sound, and film probing the concept of redundancy. Roehr abstained from both making a statement and sticking to an individual style. His formal repertory is deliberately reduced to the selection of an object, the definition of the number of its repetitions, and their arrangement. The element used is still recognizable, although it becomes absorbed in the series, so that the original form and color scheme are subjected to a potentiating effect. Last year, the Städelsche Museums-Verein was able to acquire the artist’s ten Schwarze Tafeln (Black Panels) for the museum, a central work in which the method of a non-narrative serial arrangement of identical objects culminates.
Now that four decades have lapsed, the commonplace nature of Roehr’s works pushes to the fore even more vehemently. They become amazingly enhanced and turn into narrative formulations oscillating between ready-made and seriality, pop and minimal art, everyday life and abstraction. The exhibition Peter Roehr illustrates that Roehr’s strict formalism is much more complex and eloquent than it seems to be at first glance.

Curator: Dr. Martin Engler (Städel Museum) and Dr. Andreas Bee (Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main)

Sponsored by: Museumskooperationspool der Stadt Frankfurt am Main

6 September to 7 March 2010, Städel Museum

Constellations V

From 6 September 2009 to 7 March 2010, as part of its exhibition series "Constellations,” the Städel Museum will be dedicating four rooms to a pointed juxtaposition of selected works from its collection of post-1945 art, installing a path of contemporary art that runs through the building from the Riverside Gallery on the second floor, across the central Rotunda, to the first hall of the garden wing and the adjoining Cabinet on the first floor. Consisting of nearly 40 works, the comprehensive show employs different presentation forms to shed light on the Städel’s diverse and multi-faceted holdings. Works by Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon, or Alberto Giacometti acquired over the decades merge with more recent but equally valuable acquisitions, donations, and permanent loans by Victor Vasarely, Josef Albers, Gerhard Hoehme, and works by other artists which have just been added to the Städel collection over the past few months.

Curator: Dr. Martin Engler (Head of the department "Art after 1945”, Städel Museum)

13 November 2009 to 28 February 2010 – Städel Annex


With a selection of portraits, mythological allegories and depictions of the Virgin – altogether some eighty works by Botticelli, his workshop and his contemporaries – the Städel Museum presenting the first exhibition ever to be devoted to the oeuvre of this great Italian Renaissance master in German-speaking lands.

Sandro Botticelli’s painting has become a landmark of Italian Renaissance, and his monumental Idealized Portrait of a Lady (c. 1480) numbers among the Städel Museum’s main works. The ideal beauty of his mythological figures and the elegant grace of his Virgin figures make his creations the epitome of Florentine painting in the Golden Age under Lorenzo the Magnificent’s rule. It is less his masterful translation of Renaissance ideals which is the reason for the much-praised magic of his pictorial solutions, but rather the exceptional expressiveness of his figurative creations presenting their classically refined beauty in a solemn manner and with an often melancholy note.

Curator: Dr. Andreas Schumacher (Städel Museum)

Sponsored by: Commerzbank-Stiftung

With additional support from: Alnatura Produktions- und Handels GmbH, HA Hessen Agentur GmbH, Tourismus+Congress GmbH Frankfurt am Main, Deutsche Bahn AG, Weleda AG, Filiale Douglas Zeil, Frankfurt am Main, Italienische Zentrale für Tourismus ENIT, Italienische Kulturinstitut Frankfurt am Main, ikarus design kaufhaus und JWT Frankfurt

3 July to 18 October 2009 – Department of Prints and Drawings

Edvard Munch. Prints from the Städel Museum

When Edvard Munch (1863–1944) turned to printmaking in the 1890s, he was – as a painter – already as well-known as he was controversial. The motifs he realized initially in etchings and soon thereafter in lithographs and woodcuts correspond largely with those of his painted works. Condensed and concretized by the print medium, they are nevertheless typical of the Norwegian artist’s imagery, revolving around experiences such as love, jealousy, loneliness and death, but also encompassing portraits of notables of the artist’s time, for example Henrik Ibsen, August Strindberg or Harry Graf Kessler. Within the context of examples by European contemporaries, the exhibition draws from the museum’s own holdings to pay homage to his prints – masterly works of groundbreaking signifi cance with regard to content as well as technique.

Curator: Dr. Jutta Schütt (Städel Museum)

9 April 2009 to 30 August 2009 - Riverside Gallery

Focus on Andrea Mantegna: Mark the Evangelist, c. 1450 (Inv. No. 1046)

In spite of the signature inscribed in the cartellino near the picture’s lower margin, the attribution of the Städel’s half-length figure of Saint Mark the Evangelist framed by a stone window, dating from 1450, had long been cast into doubt. It was only after the work had been cleansed and restored in the 1990s that the high quality of the painting on canvas was re-exposed. Since then it has unanimously been accepted as an autograph work dating from the artist’s early period and is in fact considered as one of Mantegna’s earliest surviving works. This exhibition, to be staged within the Städel’s Focus series, is meant to pinpoint the various sources the young Mantegna referred to for his Mark the Evangelist. Apart from his profound knowledge of the rules of central perspective, the artist relied on impulses emanating from contemporary art production in Padua, as well as on motifs and formal principles deriving from antique models. On the other hand, his pronounced sense of realism in the treatment of detail and surface texture suggests an influence of early Netherlandish art. Moreover, X-ray photography and infrared reflectography have revealed that the pictorial concept was fundamentally revised in the course of the painting’s execution. The search for the original composition also raises the question about the possible context for which this first conception of the canvas might have been intended.

Curator: Gabriel Dette (Städel Museum)

Sponsored by: Schering Stiftung

1 April 2009 to 26 July 2009 - Städel Annex

Caravaggio in Holland. Music and Genre in the Paintings of Caravaggio and the Utrecht Caravaggists

The Städel Museum in Frankfurt recently acquired a significant painting by the Utrecht painter Dirck van Baburen dating from 1622. It shows a young singer presenting a virtuoso sample of his art. This masterpiece of both keen observation and dramatization is closely related to quite a number of depictions of musicians all of which were carried out in Utrecht in the 1620s. During that period, the Dutch town was an artistic laboratory where painters experimented with the novel pictorial invention, constantly competing for new solutions. The three protagonists among this group of artists – Hendrick Terbrugghen, Gerard van Honthorst, and Dirck van Baburen – had sojourned in Rome for an entire decade, where they had studied the art of Caravaggio, and soon prevailed with their own compositions executed in the style of their paragon. This exhibition for the first time offers a comprehensive and high-quality assembly of musicians and brothel scenes by these so-called Utrecht Caravaggists. Their works will be juxtaposed with superb paintings by Caravaggio that had served the Utrecht painters as an inspiration. The show will revolve around Caravaggio’s famous Lute Player, an incunabulum of Baroque portraiture of musicians. Museums throughout Europe and the United States are supporting this exhibition with over 40 important loans. Among the lenders are the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, the Alte Pinakothek in Munich, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Centraal Museum in Utrecht, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Curator: Prof. Dr. Jochen Sander (Städel Museum)

Sponsored by: Stiftung Flughafen Frankfurt/Main für die Region

5 November 2008 to 28 June 2009 - Gallery

“Holy Cologne” – Painting in Cologne in the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern Times

The Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt at the Städel

In the Late Middle Ages, Cologne was one of the most important and, in terms of population, one of the largest cities in Europe. On account of its numerous churches and cloisters it was also referred to as "heiliges Köln” – "holy Cologne”. At the same time, it was an outstanding centre of art. Especially painting blossomed in this context, a circumstance to which a great number of extant works still bear impressive testimony today. The presentation at the Städel Museum unites two collections of early Cologne painting which could hardly complement one another more perfectly – that of Frankfurt and that of Darmstadt. The latter is splendidly represented by the most prominent Cologne master of all – Stefan Lochner – as well as the Master of the Saint Bartholomew Altarpiece and Barthel Bruyn the Elder. The Rhenish city’s rich artistic productivity is also reflected, however, in important works by other painters of the period from 1400 to the early sixteenth century.

Curators: Prof. Dr. Jochen Sander (Städel Museum), Dr. Theo Jülich (Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt)

6 March to 7 June 2009 - Department of Prints and Drawings

Michelangelo. Drawings and Attributions

From 6 March to 7 June 2009, the Städel Museum’s Department of Prints and Drawings presenting an exhibition dedicated to the issue of the attribution of Old Master drawings in the particularly contentious case of Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475–1564). Besides his world-famous sculptures, frescoes, and buildings, Michelangelo made a large number of drawings, which compelled great admiration in his day. As he never signed his drawings and burnt a lot of them shortly before his death, it is difficult to determine whether many of the surviving sheets are actually autograph or copies or imitations by other artists.

The occasion for the exhibition has been supplied by a drawing in the
Städel Museum’s Department of Prints and Drawings whose attribution to Michelangelo was the subject of controversy in the past. Recently, the sheet has again been attributed to Michelangelo by several experts. Presenting a number of selected examples – amongst them precious loans from the collections of the British Museum in London, the Royal Collection in Windsor, and the Casa Buonarroti in Florence – the exhibition grants various possibilities for direct visual comparison, providing visitors with an opportunity for exploring the issue on their own in front of the original works.

Curator: Dr. Martin Sonnabend (Städel Museum)

10 October untill 22 March 2009 - Rotunda

Reconsidered. Luc Tuymans: Selected Works from the Städel Collection

The Belgian painter Luc Tuymans, one of the most prominent and most sought-after painters of the present, assumed the Max Beckmann Foundation Professorship at the Städelschule last year as the successor to William Kentridge. In June 2007, he launched his teaching activities with three public lectures at the Städel Museum in which he spoke about his experiences in and with the art world. In that context he assessed the role of art criticism and art subsidization as well as the influence borne by curators quite sceptically. As was also the case with William Kentridge, Luc Tuymans will now bring the professorship to a close with an exhibition developed especially for the Städel Museum. During his stay in Frankfurt he took advantage of the opportunity to familiarize himself thoroughly with the museum’s collection – the works on view in the galleries and above all those kept in storage. From the overall holdings, he selected a series of fifteen paintings dating from five centuries, which he is now introducing within the framework of the exhibition "Reconsidered” in the Städel rotunda, enhanced by commentaries and his own triptych Eyes of 2001. Tuymans has moreover undertaken an intervention in the gallery rooms devoted to the art of the nineteenth century, where he juxtaposes Fernand Khnopff’s painting The Game Warden with his own Against the Day, a work thus being presented to the public for the first time.

Curator: Luc Tuymans

Project director: Dr. Eva Mongi-Vollmer, curator (Städel Museum)

10 October untill 22 March 2009 - Riverside Gallery

Focus on Auguste Rodin: Faun/Le vieil arbre/Le vieux chêne, ca. 1885 (inv. no. SGP 6)

The sixth exhibition within the series Focus on… revolves around a group of bronze figures entitled Faun, not quite 40 cm high, by the French sculptor Auguste Rodin. Deriving from the complex and detailed program for the Gates of Hell, started in 1880 and originally conceived as a double-wing bronze portal for the Musée des Arts décoratifs in Paris, this group of figures, completed in 1885, raises numerous questions: Why do the two figures – a cloven-footed male creature and a female rushing up to it – have such peculiar proportions? What urged Rodin to create this stirring and agitated pair of fauns? And why did he combine two initially unrelated figures within this ambiguous work? The exhibition Focus on Auguste Rodin: Faun/Le vieil arbre/Le vieux chêne, ca. 1885 (inv. no. SGP 6) aims to elucidate these issues by exploring the subject of this admittedly unusual and irritating group of sylvan creatures joined in uninhibited entanglement, as well as the circumstances surrounding the work’s acquisition, its treatment in literature, and the employment of assemblage as an artistic means.

Curator: Dr. Eva Mongi-Vollmer (Städel Museum)

Supported by: Schering Foundation

7 and 8 March 2009 - Städel Annex

Michael Riedel. Four Proposals for Change

Responding to an invitation by Städel Museum, the artist Michael Riedel (b. 1972) is carrying out a project in conjunction with the exhibition of Early Netherlandish painting. His focus here is less on the artworks themselves than on the manner in which the pictorial material of the exhibition objects is processed. In particular, he employs the media by which the show was conveyed to the public – from the printed announcements to the catalogue. His interventions in the production of these media create a pictorial nomenclature which departs from the original function of the printed matter.
The works by Michael Riedel will accompany the exhibition of Early Netherlandish painting and be placed on display after the conclusion of that show, from 7 to 8 March 2009.

Curator: Dr. Eva Mongi-Vollmer (Städel Museum)

Sponsored by: 1822-Stiftung der Frankfurter Sparkasse

November 21, 2008 to March 1, 2009 - Städel Annex

The Master of Flémalle and Rogier van der Weyden

An exhibition of the Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, and the Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin under the joint patronage of His Majesty Albert II, King of the Belgians, and Federal President of Germany Horst Köhler.

The Master of Flémalle (frequently identified with the artist Robert Campin, active in Tournai) and Rogier van der Weyden (who demonstrably worked in Campin’s workshop from 1427 to 1432) are – besides the van Eyck brothers – of crucial importance for the birth and the beginnings of Early Netherlandish painting. They stand for the discovery of the visible world which they were able to represent in hitherto unknown realistic detail thanks to the sophisticated new technique of oil painting. Though the Master of Flémalle and Rogier van der Weyden number among the most important and innovative fifteenth-century European artists and their opulently detailed narrative paintings belong to the most beautiful and popular works of art from the turn of the late Middle Ages to the early modern age, there has been no monographic exhibition focusing on these two painters and their work to date –irrespective of the fact that the differentiation between the two oeuvres is still controversial. Four monumental monographic books, arriving at partly radically divergent conclusions concerning this issue, have been dedicated to the two artists only in recent years. Under these circumstances, the exhibition organized by the Städel Museum together with the Gemäldegalerie der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin offers a splendid opportunity to arrive at persuasive answers based on direct comparison in this contentious matter.

Curator: Prof. Dr. Jochen Sander, Deputy Director and Curator for German, Dutch and Flemish Painting of the Städel Museum

Sponsored by: Deutsche Bank AG

October 10, 2008 untill January 11, 2009 - Städel Annex

Constellations IV. Material / Form / Man / City

"Constellations IV” offers an unusual approach to works of the Städel Museum’s collections dating from after 1945. Independent of chronological boundaries and art historical categorizations, the works are grouped in four rooms dedicated to four subjects: "Material,” "Form,” "Man,” and "City.” This arrangement brings together apparently opposed aspects and elucidates familiar views in new contexts. The four deliberately vast subjects have been chosen without any claim to fundamental or general validity. They rather offer a model reading exemplifying how patterns of explanation and interpretation are possible even within the everything goes drift of contemporary art.

Curators: Dr. Martin Engler, Dr. Jutta Schütt (Städel Museum)

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